First rewritten chapter a disaster

11-Jan-17, 12:21
by Tenzin
Avatar for Tenzin
posted about 1 week ago
Hi all,

I got my referral to resubmit after my viva in early October. Once I got the examiner's list, it became apparent that I have to rewrite the entire PhD - some of the original material can be integrated, but much of it (about 60 per cent) has to be thrown out. My methodology was the biggest problem.

So my supervisors and I decided that to begin on the methodology chapter would be the best strategy. Immediately after receiving the examiner report, I started working on the chapter. I don't know if I've even worked that hard on the original thesis, and when it was finally finished almost three months later, I turned it in to my supervisors.

I just got their feedback today - the chapter was a disaster. From the comments from my supervisors, it's obvious that I just don't know how to argue my point. And I'm thinking, well, if I don't get it by now, I'll never get it.

Throughout this whole process (the viva, decision to resubmit, etc.) I've been miserably unhappy. I won't find any positions in academia due to my age (53) and the almost complete lack of academic positions in my area (religious studies). I'm only hoping to complete this PhD because I started it.

Today, however, I was really devastated. Sometimes I wonder if it's better just to let it go - this is expensive, draining, and it seems pretty pointless now.

So I'm looking for feedback, advice, insights - please no chastising - I'm at the end of my tether today.

11-Jan-17, 13:31
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 1 week ago
Is it possible to meet your supervisors to go over their feedback? I always find that things look a lot more harsh on the page than when they're discussed, especially if you're feeling disheartened. Maybe you could have a meeting with them to discuss the bits of your thesis that can be kept and the bits that need changed? I can imagine it must all look like an impossible task just now, but for your supervisors to have given the go-ahead for your viva in the first place, they must have thought you had something worthy of a PhD there.
11-Jan-17, 14:42
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for PracticalMouse
posted about 1 week ago
I wouldn't give up now - you've come so far already. How long have you got to do these corrections? I would just look at the report very methodically and go through it point by point. I understand that it is really disheartening to get that type of feedback, but you never know what types of opportunities might open up in the future and if you have your Phd you're ready for them.

By the way, my mum got her first academic contract through a funded project in her area at 58!
11-Jan-17, 15:02
edited about 3 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
Avatar for Ephiny
posted about 1 week ago
Only you can decide whether you want to continue or not, but I agree with having a face-to-face chat with your supervisors first. Ask for their honest opinion about how far you are from a PhD-standard thesis - it might not be as bad as you think, and if it is, at least you know where you stand and can make a decision based on that.

Also, are there other options you can consider, e.g. if you decide you can't face going through the full process of resubmitting for the PhD, could the work you've done already be considered for an MPhil instead?
12-Jan-17, 01:11
by Tenzin
Avatar for Tenzin
posted about 1 week ago
Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I think probably the first step is to talk to the supervisors again about this, and bring up the issues you have all mentioned. I'm incredibly burnt out right now, living in Nepal and getting ready to start a new job here.

I'm going to take a few days to think about it all first.
12-Jan-17, 01:21
edited about 15 seconds later
by pablo
Avatar for pablo
posted about 1 week ago
Hi Tenzin, at my first viva I was given a R&R, and felt quite disheartened. I felt like giving up, feeling I wasn't good enough to do a PhD (also like you in Theology). I didn't do any work for three months but then decided to give it a shot and forced myself to work on the revisions a little bit at a time. I had my second viva 18 months later in November and passed. You can pass but you must try and find courage to give it another go. Don't give up!


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